‘Strategic Tourism Partners’ Greece and Russia Sign Agreement
The Greek Tourism Ministry and Russia’s Federal Tourism Agency (Rostourism) recently signed an agreement to encourage mutual tourist flow, simplify tourism-related formalities and establish contacts between Russian and Greek travel operators.
The agreement follows the recent Greek-Russian tourism forum held earlier this month and within the framework of the ongoing Greece-Russia Cross-year events.
According to a press statement by Rostourism on Monday, the agreement includes a series of joint actions to promote tourist exchanges over the next two years.
“Russian and Greece are strategic partners in the sphere of tourism,” Rostourism chief Oleg Safonov said.
“Greece offers our citizens high-quality, affordable and safe vacationing options and claims to be number one foreign vacationing destination for Russians this year”, Mr Safonov underlined, adding that Russia is interested in receiving more tourists from Greece and can offer various types of travel packages.
In line with the agreement, Greece and Russia will cooperate in the areas of mutual promotion of national travel products, development of tourism-related education, investments in tourism and legislation.
According to the latest estimates, some one million Russians are expected to visit Greece this year.
This was confirmed by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his recent visit to Greece.
During talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Putin said that Greece could welcome up to three million Russian tourists this year if the problem of delays in visa issuance is solved.
Last month, the Russian Tourism Industry Union said that the Greek Consulate in Moscow was overwhelmed with visa applications submitted by Russians wanting to travel to Greece. The Greek Foreign Ministry is reportedly exploring actions aimed towards the full and speedy servicing of applicants for visas in Moscow for travel to Greece.
The Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) said in a recent statement that a total of 10,000 Russian travelers moved to visit Greece in March, up 523.6 percent on the previous year.